Immigration Law, Legal Advice

Mass legalization of illegal immigrants in Greece: New type of residence permit for illegal immigrants expected to be introduced

Δάφνη Σιώπη. Δικηγορικό γραφείο.

According to an amendment submitted on 16.12.2023 to the draft law of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security entitled “Professional insurance reform, rationalization of insurance legislation, pension arrangements, system of appointment and recruitment of teachers of the public employment service and other provisions”, a new type of residence permit is introduced, which concerns foreigners residing illegally in Greece until November 30, 2023, who continue to reside in Greece and complete at least three (3) continuous years of residence in Greece before submitting the application. The permit will ONLY be given to those who have a job offer and can prove that they are working and will be revoked when employment is interrupted for any reason. More specifically, the conditions provided for by the draft law are the following:

By decision of the Secretary of the Decentralized Administration, a residence permit is granted with the right to access dependent work and the provision of services or work to citizens of third countries who: a) have a declaration of a job offer from an employer in Greece for their employment under the status of dependent work or provision of services or work , b) resided in Greece until November 30, 2023 without a residence permit, c) continue to reside in Greece and d) complete at least three (3) years of residence in Greece prior to submitting an application, according to documents of certain date.

In addition to the above conditions, the bill stipulates that the following are additionally required:

a) The possession of a passport, even if it has expired. A residence permit is also granted in cases where it is established that it is objectively impossible to show a valid passport.

b) The absence of reasons of public order and security.

c) The payment of a fee of three hundred (300) euros and the cost of printing a residence permit in the form of an independent document in the amount of sixteen (16) euros.

d) The submission of a responsible declaration by the employer, through the Unified Digital Portal of the Public Administration Online System (gov.gr), with which he undertakes to employ the applicant, either in the context of dependent work, or in the context of the provision of services or work, if the a citizen of a third country submits a request for the granting of a residence permit and receives the certificate of application submission pursuant to Article 8 of Law 4251/2014. The responsible declaration also includes the Tax Registration Number (TIN) of the prospective employer.

Citizens of third countries who meet the above conditions will be able, according to the draft law, to submit an application until 31.12.2024. The application is submitted electronically to the one-stop service within the geographical boundaries of which the applicant will provide work according to the employer’s declaration.

Citizens of third countries who submit an application for the granting of the present residence permit and meet the above conditions, are granted the application submission certificate of article 8 of Law 4251/2014, after the necessary check by the competent service within forty (40) days from the submission of the application.

Within an exclusive period of sixty (60) days from receipt of the confirmation of application submission, the third country citizen who has submitted an application for the granting of the residence permit herein submits electronically to the competent one-stop service of the Decentralized Administration, evidence of the start of his employment (contract or recruitment announcement or details of the initiation of a business for the provision of services or work) by the employer, who submitted the responsible declaration described above. If the applicant does not submit the evidence within the exclusive period of sixty (60) days, his application is rejected.

According to the draft law, this residence permit is granted once and has a duration of three (3) years. The holder of the residence permit in question may, at the end of its validity period, request a change of residence permit category in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Code.

It is also particularly important that it is possible to grant a residence permit as a family member of a third-country citizen to the spouse-parent and the minor children of third-country citizens, provided that: a) the parent has obtained the present residence permit and b) the spouse – parent and the minor child are in Greece until November 30, 2023.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that the draft law also provides for special arrangements for foreigners who have already submitted an application for a residence permit for exceptional reasons, which is either pending or has been rejected due to failure to fulfill the seven-year condition. Specifically, in the first case, it is stipulated that if the interested parties submit the necessary supporting documents to be subject to the specific regulation (i.e. a responsible declaration by the employer for their employment), their application will be examined based on the new provisions, while in the second case it is provided that they can submit an application based on the new provisions.

*Our office has extensive experience in all kinds of immigration law and residence permit issues (issuance and renewal of residence permits, working visas, Golden Visa, legalization of illegal immigrants, acquisition of Greek citizenship, cancellation of deportations, objections to the detention of foreigners, etc.). For further legal advice or to assign your case to our office, you can contact us at tel. 2313 079293 or by email at info@siopi-law.gr. It is noted that the provision of legal advice without a corresponding fee is prohibited under the Lawyers Code (Article 57 Law 4194/2013)*

Dafni I. Siopi

52 Tsimiski Street, Thessaloniki

T. +30 2313 079293, +30 6977 568673

E. info@siopi-law.gr, dsiopi@siopi-law.gr

4 thoughts on “Mass legalization of illegal immigrants in Greece: New type of residence permit for illegal immigrants expected to be introduced

  1. RAOUL says:

    What will happen when this permit will expire? May i please have the official pdf document of this new law?

    Kind regards,

    1. D.siopi says:

      After this permit expires, the applicant is able to renew it, provided that he is working in Greece.

  2. Alex says:

    I have received 5 years residency , will i be able to apply for 3years law if i renounce my current status ? Could you please explain which paper has more value ?

    1. D.siopi says:

      If you already have a 5-year residence permit (I suppose a long-term one?), then there is absolutely no point in applying with the new law. The new law is for people who don’t have any residence permit currently or for asylum seekers.

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